KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* has launched THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* – a ground-breaking new initiative designed to show HR managers how taking a few simple steps can help eradicate harmful germs from the office environment could cut absenteeism and raise both staff satisfaction and productivity levels.
THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* offers companies advice and practical support to enable them to install the best possible hygiene systems around the workplace and, most importantly, inspire staff to use them regularly – steps that could help prevent the spread of germs that cause a range of illnesses. The new programme is being rolled out in the UK following a successful launch in the US.
Businesses who sign up to THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* will be offered the opportunity to receive a comprehensive assessment of their whole working environment, from reception desks to individual workstations. Following this visit, KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* will make tailored recommendations on where to place products such as hand sanitisers and desk wipes.
In addition, companies who take advantage of the assessment will receive an engagement activation pack comprising stickers, posters and other material, all carrying information and messages about workplace hygiene. The materials in the pack have been carefully designed to attract the attention of employees and persuade them to use the hygiene products made available by their employer, helping to achieve a long-term positive change in their behaviour.
The project team at KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* has also produced a dedicated website www.kcphealthyworkplace.com/uk and a range of literature that offers HR managers guidance on implementing healthy workplace initiatives and how to best engage with staff to communicate the benefits of workplace hygiene.
THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* from KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* offers real potential to make a tangible difference to productivity levels within a business. The cost of absenteeism is estimated at more than £700 per employee, per year. However, certain practical steps can help to reduce this unwelcome burden.
A recent study involving office workers at FedEx found that the use of a hand sanitiser and a simple education programme reduced absenteeism by 21%, compared with a control group . Another scientific study found that drying with hand towels reduced bacteria levels on hands by up to 77%, helping to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. Richard Millard, Office Building Segment Manager, EMEA at KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL*, said: “Recent research shows, most illness-based absence from the workplace is caused by colds, flus and stomach upsets. The number of germs present on the average desk is 400 times greater than that found on the average toilet seat, while bacteria such as the influenza virus can live on surfaces for 24 to 48 hours . Fortunately, engaging directly with staff to enable them to see the benefits of changing their workplace hygiene habits for the better can significantly reduce and help prevent the spreading of these germs.”
He continued: “To make an impact on overall health and wellbeing in the workplace, many things have to be considered within a comprehensive programme, such as which products are required, where they should be placed and how it is possible to encourage staff to use them.
“This is where THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* from KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* really comes into its own. We can provide HR managers with all the advice, support and products they need to make the step changes that could increase engagement with staff on this subject and thereby reduce absenteeism and boost their productivity levels.
“We believe THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* could also help businesses demonstrate to their employees that they genuinely care about their welfare, which is an important step towards helping staff feel that their employer is a good company to work for.”
Henry Chamberlain, President/COO of the Building Owners & Managers Association International, whose organisation took part in the successful US launch of THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT*, added: “It’s important for everybody in the workplace to be healthy, so they can be productive. We think this is a terrific initiative and will be displaying posters and utilising the literature and products at our headquarters office in Washington and in our whole network of offices, with 17,000 employees. We will encourage everyone to look at the information and use the products.”
More details on THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT*, and general information on health and hygiene in the workplace, are available by contacting the team at HealthyWorkplaceUK@kcc.com or by visiting the website www.kcphealthyworkplace.com/uk